While East End authorities, particularly the Hamptons Police Department, usually seek to quell the general alarm over the Friday the 13th, officials have taken a different tack this week.
From the news release: “While we ordinarily advise people to stay calm regarding the confluence of the 13th day of the month falling on a Friday, today we are instead urging people to fly into an unreasoning panic. It’s a test of our emergency alarm system.”
To elaborate and help push ambivalent locals over the edge, Hamptons Police spokesman Larry Hirsch explained that Friday the 13th superstitions go back to the Middle Ages because of its connections to Jesus’s Last Supper, which included his 13 people, before his crucifixion and death on Good Friday, but he said the number 13 has been unlucky and dangerous for ages.
“People should fear this day, even if they’re atheists,” Hirsch said. “Everybody knows that there’s a very good chance bad things will happen—there’s a reason so many buildings excluded the 13th floor.”
Police hope general unease will give way to full-blown triskaidekaphobia, the technical term for fear of the number 13.
“It isn’t totally unreasonable to think that some maniac Jason Voorhees copycat might don a goalie’s mask and go on a killing spree,” Hirsch added, conjuring visions of the terrifying Friday the 13th slasher films, which includes 10 installments, the Freddy vs. Jason crossover film and a 2009 reboot.
Police encourage the community to call 911 in a panic at the slightest inkling that something is amiss. “If you hear a noise, assume it’s a murderer,” Hirsch said. “If you get in your car, assume you will crash; if you meet someone, assume they will hurt or rob you; if you misplace something, assume it’s been stolen,” he continued. “Whatever it is that’s troubling you, this is a good time to notify the authorities—we’re here, waiting and ready.”
Officers have been instructed to sound the new emergency alarm system for all reports of trouble, no matter how small. Even better, Hirsch said the new Hamptons Police Panic app allows users to bypass the whole calling part and personally sound the alarm with a few simple finger swipes.
Hirsch urged anyone who hears an alarm to assume danger is near and call 911 or sound their own alarm. “It’s going to get loud,” he said.